Lausanne (AFP)

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter are now being prosecuted for "fraud" and "breach of trust" in Switzerland, after the widening of the investigation initially opened against them for "unfair management", we learned Friday from a source with access to the folder.

However, no new fact has arisen in this case, which broke the course of the two former football leaders at the end of 2015, and concerns the payment by Fifa of 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) to Michel Platini in early 2011, according to the same source, confirming information from the French newspaper Le Monde and the French site Mediapart.

The Swiss prosecutor's office (MPC), in turmoil due to accusations of collusion with Fifa which target its former chief, thus has additional legal options to qualify the settlement of this sum.

"We have the feeling that the MPC maintains this five-year-old procedure by the artificial and delaying game of the expansion of the charges," denounced the entourage of the legendary No. 10 of the Blues, in a statement to AFP.

"Since 2015, Michel Platini has been: witness, assisted witness, officially exonerated by the same MPC in 2018, then suspect interviewed on the basis of suspicions that were raised during the last hearings", conducted at the end of August and mid -November, adds the same source.

Criminalally, the stake for the two ex-leaders has not changed: these three qualifications are punishable by five years of imprisonment, according to the Swiss Penal Code, as well as the count of "forgery" which also answers Michel Platini.

Former allies who have become rivals, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been hammering from the start that this is a balance of payment for an advisory job carried out by the French in 1999-2002.

Sepp Blatter, who joined Fifa in 1975 as director of development but lacked sporting legitimacy, then sought the support of the triple Ballon d'Or to take the head of the body.

But Fifa, led since 2016 by Gianni Infantino, for its part deplores the absence of a written contract mentioning such remuneration at the time, and has been demanding reimbursement from Michel Platini since the end of 2019 before Swiss civil justice.

In addition to this case, which also targets the former secretary general of Fifa Jérôme Valcke and the former financial director Markus Kattner, the Swiss justice has opened for five years about twenty procedures concerning the supreme authority of football.

The only one that found an epilogue, and aimed at Jérôme Valcke and the boss of PSG and beInMedia Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, ended at the end of October with an almost general acquittal in a case of TV rights, where "unfair management" was ruled out by the judges.

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